Nikola Jokić Is Denver’s Only All-Star?

Nikola Jokić is a great All-Star, but for Denver, he's the only one.

Nikola Jokić is a great All-Star, but for Denver, he’s the only one.
Photo: AP

Nikola Jokić’s season is a long one. Denver Nuggets top the West, top in offensive efficiency, Jokić is a god by almost every metric as well as the favorite player to be the first MVP for three consecutive seasons since when Larry Bird ran the board from 1984 to 1986. And yet, it was lonely at the top because Jokić would be the only Nugget to take part in Sunday’s All-Star Game festivities.

In fact, among the top seeds in the East and West, Denver is the only top 3 seed in both games without a 2023 All-Stars pair in her locker room. The Boston attack was carried out by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on its wings.

The hierarchy in Denver after Jokić is more abstract than most candidates. We know well that Khris Middleton is Antetokoumpo’s No. 2 when healthy. In the void left by Middleton, Jrue Holiday’s defensive plans were aligned and played well enough to earn their first All-Star spot in a decade. James Harden to Joel Embiid are the NBA’s highest scorers tectonic duo follow Statistics PBP. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. of Memphis will go to Utah. Even Sacramento sent De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

In fact, Jokić’s only other All-Star counterpart on Denver’s roster is DeAndre Jordan, who was named a substitute back in 2017. And possibly the Nuggets bench conductor. Michael Malone, who would theoretically be the “coach”.

If Denver ends up on an 82-game schedule as the No. 1 seed, they will be the first team in the Western Conference without many Stars since the 2014 San Antonio Spurs won the last title of the Duncan era. In a line-up that featured 22-year-old Kawhi Leonard two years before he gave his first All-Star nod, Tim Duncan was on his way to retirement and the backing was Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker.

Popovich is also an original innovator in load management, their stars are in their 30s, poised to push through more than a decade of playoff basketball, but are playing at All-Star levels, but in minutes decrease. In the post-season, that quartet has more to exploit, but not the legs to sustain it for 82 games.

Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Oneand the impact of Jamal Murray

The Nuggets are relatively young and have never made it to the knockout stages. Their fresh feet are an advantage and yet none of their other starters are even considered. Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon sit on the fringes of All-Star recognition this season, but the trio has found desirable by their peers. Each is more of an expert than a true secondary star. This begs the question, is Denver’s All-Star outage a form of disrespect from the reserve-picking league or a sign that the league believes its professionals are an illusion? And if so, will they be enough to weather the post-season battles that await them?

Michael Porter Jr. was a C-star, but his pure goal-scoring prowess was muted in a deep squad. Porter Jr. has left home goalscoring goals all season, but his one-sided role puts him at a disadvantage. Aaron Gordon was an All-Star Saturday vet who killed a man in the scam of the year, but he never had a particular impact on winning an All-Star. However, Jokić to Gordon was the fourth active passing duo.

Jamal Murray is an All-Star and Nuggets’ caliber threat main ball handler and he assisted Jokić with more shoves than all but five duos in the tournament, but because of a slow start, the 25-year-old compound defender has found his way back into score-destroying form. their own as the season drags on. However, the Nuggets have also been cautious with minutes and usage of him in his first season back_ since tearing his ACL net after the 2021 season. Murray has sat in the last six games leading. to the All-Star Break and the Nuggets still won 4/6 during that period.

Murray’s best chance of being considered an All-Star might be heading East. Even in full health, Murray lost the battle to the might of the Western Conference defenders. Against the likes of Ja Morant, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and maybe Kyrie Irving if he stays in Dallas this season, Murray could forever be the bottom.

At their peak, Porter Jr. and Murray could top above average starters, which means these Nuggets are trying to be the most casual team organized around a single constellation since the 2011 Mavericks won the NBA title with Dirk Nowitzki and uh… JJ Barea.

Catalyst for offense, deposit Heaven slamming into the wings and amplifying the talent around him has always been Jokić’s superpower and the supporting cast is proof of that. For example, Will Barton, Malik Beasley, and others fell to earth after they were thrown from Jokić’s gravity. Compared to the new interface Suns, Grizzlies, Bucks, Cavaliers, and the Celtics, however, Denver is miles behind in the distribution of star power.

What is Denver’s playoff Kryptonite?

What might come back to haunt them is their defensive effectiveness. The Golden State has proven that they can activate their suffocation defenses. Memphis’ bully side is second on defense, Lopez and Antetokounmpo’s dark side gives the Bucks’ defending two barricades, Boston’s defense team was there were no leaks and Embiid sealed any holes in Philadelphia’s. It’s the heart of Denver The defense could come back to haunt them in the post-season, especially if Murray can’t keep up with the upper echelons. bodyguard in the West.

Donovan Mitchell seems to have made a leap that Murray has not. In the post-season, Denver will need Jamal Murray to mature to become a consistently high-scoring All-Star, which he jumped on to take on Mitchell in the bubble to ease Jokić’s burden. Ironically, both the 2011 Mavericks and the aforementioned 2014 Spurs knocked the ring out of LeBron’s hand. Jokić’s electricity enlivens the group, but their other stars need to shine brighter after the knockout lights come on.

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